By the end of the 70s, Giorno had expanded his sound compositions into the world of music, live performance and created his own record label called “Giorno Poetry Systems Recordings” –- a platform where vinyl, video works, CD’s, tape compilations, radio broadcasting and telephones could be used as a tools to extend the boundary of poetry and literature. In 1981, when Giorno felt he had done every thing possible using the electronics available at the time, he took a hiatus from his “Sound Poems” and employed the genre of rock ‘n’ roll to form The John Giorno Band. Comprised of a rotating cast of talented musicians (Lenny Kaye on guitar, C. P. Roth on synthesizers, Paul Duggan on bass, David Donen on drums), the group was invited to perform at various punk rock venues and new wave clubs including the Pyramid, Danceteria, Mudd Club, Roxy, Irving Plaza, Palladium and CBGBs. Performing his poems in front of a crowd of night-time revelers, Giorno developed a new avenue to employ his poetic language – one that merged his spoken-word poetry slams into electrifying performances.
The double LP features nine unreleased tracks including Scum & Slime (1985); Stretching it Wider (1982); Life is a Killer (1982); Sucking Mud (1986); Exiled in Domestic Life (1983); It’s a mistake to think you’re special (1989); I gambled with my anger and lost (1983); The Strength of Pleasure (live) (1984); and Stretching it Wider (live) (1982).
About I’m Rock Hard (1982-1989) artist edition: Edition of 200, artist edition double LP. $120. Hand signed foreword by John Giorno. Released by Red Bull Arts New York and Vinyl Factory, 2017